Data from The BMJ - Curated by EPG Health - Date added 11 May 2018

 

Drinking cranberry juice is no way to fix a urine infection, say new guidelines from health body the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Although some studies have claimed it may help, NICE says there is not enough good evidence to recommend it. Instead, patients should drink plenty of water and take painkillers and where necessary, antibiotics.

When antibiotics are needed, the shortest course that is likely to be effective should be prescribed to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance, says NICE.

It might be more appropriate to get a back-up prescription to be used only if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours or if they worsen rapidly or significantly at any time.

Prof Mark Baker, director for the centre of guidelines at NICE, said: "We recognise that the majority of UTIs will require antibiotic treatment, but we need to be smarter with our use of these medicines. Our new guidance will help healthcare professionals to optimise their use of antibiotics. This will help to protect these vital medicines and ensure that no one experiences side effects from a treatment they do not need."

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